Target And CVS Still Not Really Sure How Sales Work

When retail pricing defies common sense, that’s what we call Target Math. Sometimes it’s putting an item on sale for more than the original price, and sometimes it’s making items cost more per unit to buy in bulk than to buy just a few. They aren’t exclusive to Target, but for some reason these errors happen very often there. Here are some examples, which aren’t all from Target. Most of them are, though.

Sarah sent in this example of Target’s impeccable pricing logic in the dairy aisle. Usually, you price items lower when they’re “two for $X,” since you’re trying to increase sales. Not at Target, where a gallon of milk apparently costs more if you buy two. The store would probably charge you the single item price, especially if you ask, but the sign is still confusing.


Over in the electronics section, this Wii accessory is on clearance, but it’s not on clearance.


Down the road at CVS, the company’s efforts at branding itself as the place for “health” means that you now find frozen burritos in what reader Mark calls the “kinda sorta good for you frozen food case.”


This sale on burritos means that you get charged an extra eleven cents per burrito if you buy multiples. Again, they’re probably going to give you the cheaper of the two prices, but you would need to know that and to ask for it if they ring up wrong.

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